Mr. Tim Murdy, Shawnigan’s Director of Sport and longtime rugby coach, added another honour to his mantel last weekend when he was presented with the Citation of Excellence Award from BC School Sports.
Mr. Murdy was one of three coaches from across the province who received the award at the BCSS Awards Dinner at the Hilton Whistler on Friday, May 12. According to BCSS, the award recognizes “outstanding coaches and their distinguished contributions to their sport and athletes. The recipient of this award guides student-athletes to success through the philosophy of fair play and sportsmanship for a sustained period, while displaying values consistent with BCSS and school sport.”
Always humble, Mr. Murdy said he was caught off guard when the honour was announced last month and is quick to point out that he is not the only person responsible for the success of his teams over the years. He has been fortunate to work with many good programs, and says that the support he has received makes winning championships more rewarding because more people are invested in it.
“I’m aware of the fact that in coaching, while one person might take a leadership role, it’s a team effort,” he said.
Mr. Murdy has coached high school rugby for 34 years, including the last 17 at Shawnigan. As a high school athlete, he participated in rugby, football, basketball and cross country, and he began coaching high school rugby at Carson Graham Secondary in the late 1980s. He coached at five schools in the Lower Mainland before arriving at Shawnigan.
Mr. Murdy stepped aside from the head coach position for Shawnigan’s rugby program last year, but as Director of Sport, he still works closely with our rugby teams, and offers an annual free rugby coaching clinic for other coaches in the province.
Over his career, Mr. Murdy has coached three different schools to a total of 16 provincial boys’ XV championships and six provincial boys’ sevens championships, including 12 XV titles and five sevens titles at Shawnigan. He says that his favourite coaching memory is winning the provincial championship with Shawnigan in 2009, the first title during his tenure at the School, and the School’s first since the late 1990s.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Murdy expressed gratitude and congratulated the other award winners, then emphasized how important it is to give back to sport.
“We need to continue to recognize our role as leaders in amateur sport and make sure the generations after us are giving back,” he explained. “I was fortunate as an adolescent and young man to attend schools with strong programs and mentors who shaped me.”
When the BCSS award was announced, Mr. Murdy received many emails, notes and phone calls of congratulations from former students, colleagues and parents. The rewards he appreciates the most are “personal and intrinsic,” he said, and make you think the sacrifices are worth it.
“I’m at a stage in my career where I can reflect on my experiences and how lucky I’ve been,” he said, “not because of the championships, but getting to work with great people, and getting to see young people go on and do well and knowing that I played some small part in it.”
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